Dear Heritage Foods USA Supporter,

This is the final week to purchase an eighth of a grass-fed cow from Hearst Ranch. We applaud Hearst Ranch and its Ranch manager Brian Kenny for allowing Heritage Foods USA to forge a model that can be used to market grass-fed cattle from small farms around the country. We have already successfully moved 30 head of cattle through our mail order and wholesale divisions and hope to move 20 more before the end of this week! In the future, we hope to expand this model to other grass-fed farms in need of escaping the reality of the box beef world.

Below is a letter from Brian Kenny that eloquently explains exactly why this project is an important one.

Sincerely,

This beef is wet-aged for 3 weeks. It arrives fresh except for the ground, which is frozen. 

Heritage Eighth of a Grassfed Angus Beef (About 40 lbs) Delivered Outside California
Tuesday May 19th thru Friday the 22nd –
Overnight Shipping Included - $360

Heritage Eighth of a Grassfed Angus Beef (About 40 lbs) Delivered in California
Tuesday May 19th thru Friday the 22nd –
Overnight Shipping Included - $320


Dear Friend of Heritage Foods USA,

This letter is an invitation for you to work with Heritage Foods USA and Hearst Ranch Beef to create an economically and environmentally sustainable model for small cattle producers to sell grass-fed beef. 

Although grass-fed beef production poses some major challenges to the rancher or cattleman, the environmentally sustainable aspects of this model have been the easiest thing to implement. Producing quality grass-fed beef requires the adoption of sustainable and humane practices because grass-fed production is all about working in concert with nature for the long term. Thus, in order to succeed, producers have to come to grips with not only the natural tendencies of their ranch, its weather, its soil types, its water resources, and the quality of its native grasses, but they must also embrace the temperament and instincts of their cattle, which require the least amount of work when they are allowed to engage in their natural behaviors as free-ranging foragers.

The economically sustainable aspects of the model present the greatest obstacles to producers. Most cattle ranches are cow-calf operations, meaning that the rancher maintains a cow herd and a battery of bulls in order to produce calves which are sold to cattle feeders, generally through an auction at a livestock market. The feeders, in turn, feed these cattle in feedlots and sell them to a packer when they are at a finished weight of 1200-1300 pounds, at which point they are called fed cattle.

From the perspective of creating an economically sustainable business model, the constraints that mainstream cow-calf production imposes on cattlemen are many; packers determine the prices for fed cattle, feeders determine the prices for calves, and calf producers have very little control over the price they receive for their calves. The price of fed cattle is also closely tied to the price of both petroleum and grain since the cattle eat grain and grain production is heavily reliant on petroleum derivatives like fuel and fertilizer. The costs associated with operating a cattle ranch continue to rise and agriculture is under increasing economic and legislative pressure: the end result is that ranching had become much less of a business than it has a lifestyle.

The promise of grass-fed beef production is that it can free producers from the uncertainty of both the petroleum economy and the fed cattle market. Grass-fed producers can operate in a solar-based system that depends on constants like photosynthesis instead of variables like fuel costs, fertilizer costs, and the cost of grain. The reality of producing grass-fed, grass-finished cattle is that it is resource intensive: cattle need to eat 4% of their body weight in grass per day in order to grow. Thus, in order to successfully move from cow-calf production to producing finished grass-fed cattle, ranchers need to reduce their cowherd size to have enough grass resources to finish their cattle.

The business challenge for grass-fed producers is that they rely on a limited natural resource to produce a limited supply of their product, and their limited supply usually has a season. For Hearst Ranch Beef, our season runs from May until July or August. By contrast, feedlots have allowed the "boxed beef" industry to sell beef by the muscle and by the case, in a methodology that circumvents the seasonality of beef production, and in a manner that implies a limitless supply of their product. It is exceedingly difficult for grass-fed producers to operate in the same fashion; rather, they need to sell all of the beef from their cattle in season in order to succeed.

In the model we are proposing to you, we have created cattle-shares that are the equivalent of 1/8th of all of the beef from an animal (for restaurant chefs we sold half animals). For the summer, we have focused on grilling or roasting cuts, kabob meat, fajita strips, and ground beef. Our goal is simple: we want to show that selling beef in cattle-shares is a viable option for grass-fed producers. By selling cattle-shares at one price-per-pound we hope to liberate grass-fed producers around the country from the boxed beef model and the necessity to sell beef by the part. We were honored by the California Cattlemen's Association as "Beef Producer of the Year 2008." The time is right for us to build a model that can be replicated by other producers. We thank you in advance for your consideration and your support and we wish you all the best for a great summer.

Yours in food,

Brian J. Kenny
Division Manager, Hearst Ranch Beef


Each grassfed Angus cattle share includes:
Two 12-oz bone in Filet Mignon
Two 18-oz Bone-In Ribeye
Two 15-oz New York Strip
Two 12-oz Top Sirloin
Two 16-oz Flat Iron (Chuck)
One 22-oz London Broil
One 32-oz Fajita Strip
Two 32-oz Pkgs. Premium Kabob Meat
Ten 32-oz Pkgs. Ground Beef (Frozen)

And either:

One 28-oz Sirloin Tip
One 16-oz Round
One 22-oz Flank or One 22-oz Tri Tip
 
OR
 
One 16-oz Round
One 29-oz Skirt

This beef is wet-aged for 3 weeks. It arrives fresh except for the ground, which is frozen. 

Heritage Eighth of a Grassfed Angus Beef (About 40 lbs) Delivered Outside California
Tuesday May 19th thru Friday the 22nd –
Overnight Shipping Included - $360

Heritage Eighth of a Grassfed Angus Beef (About 40 lbs) Delivered in California
Tuesday May 19th thru Friday the 22nd –
Overnight Shipping Included - $320

Order now at www.HeritageFoodsUSA.com

Heritage Foods USA
The Source for Authentic American Heritage Foods
Heritage Foods USA has been featured as a Company of the Year in Bon Appetit, House & Garden, Newsweek, Saveur Magazine and The New York Times Magazine.

Contact us with questions or ideas, look out for weekly announcements and read new recipes, by visiting: www.HeritageFoodsUSA.com.

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PO BOX 827
New York, NY 10150

Tel: 212-980-6603
Fax: 212-980-3332

 

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